On August 3, 2017, our beloved Sanghamata and President, Sri Mrinalini Mataji, peacefully left this world for the eternal realm of bliss and freedom in Spirit. A guiding light of wisdom, love, and understanding for the hundreds of thousands of truth seekers whose lives have been transformed by the teachings of Gurudeva Sri Sri Paramahansa Yoganandaji, Sri Mrinalini Mataji dedicated herself to serving the Guru’s spiritual and humanitarian work for over seventy years.
The memorial service for Sri Mrinalina Mataji was conducted at YSS Noida Ashram, Delhi Kendra and Gurgaon Kendra in August 2017.
Memorial Service At YSS Noida Ashram
Nearly 500 devotees attended the memorial service conducted by Swami Lalitanandaji in the main Pandal of the Noida Ashram. The Sunday morning ceremony began with a prayer, followed by the reading of a letter sent by the SRF/YSS board in the sacred memory of Sri Mrinalini Mata Ji.
Swamiji shared the experience of his meeting with Mataji in Los Angeles in 2006, with those gathered to attend this sacred and uplifting function:
Recalling how he felt her profound motherly love and affection during this meeting with Mataji as well as her unfathomed wisdom and divinity, Swamiji explained how her utter naturalness and unpretentiousness put him at ease in her divine presence. He also mentioned how in response to his request, she narrated the incident when Guruji went into Samadhi and conversed with Divine Mother, and Divine Mother answered his questions through his own voice which all could hear.
Swamiji then requested Ms. Radhika Swamy, (mother of Brahmachari Saujanyanandaji who is a Brahmachari in SRF) to share her personal experience of her meetings with Sri Mrinalini Mataji. Ms. Swamy spoke of her two meetings with Mataji, one in 2006 at Encinitas accompanied by Mr. C N Swamy and their son, Shekhar who was a postulant in SRF ashram at that time, and the second in 2011 accompanied by Mr. C N Swamy and their son, who had by then become Brahmachari Saujanyanandaji.
Both the visits were special and Mataji spent a long time with them on both the occasions, said Ms. Swamy. The second meeting was arranged by Sri Mrinalini Mata Ji herself as no appointment was sought during their stay at Encinitas for their personal retreat. Mataji had specially asked about the devotees at Delhi/Noida etc. and had sent Prasad for all the devotees here. Ms. Swamy was overwhelmed by this meeting and felt the presence and touch of a “siddha.”
Following this, Swami Lalitanandaji proceeded with the memorial service by conducting the sacred ceremony in accordance with the prescribed format using the three white and three red roses and other steps, and concluded with the closing prayer.
The whole programme was charged with divine and uplifting vibrations which all the present could feel.
The devotees were then requested to partake of the Guru Langar arranged in the ashram premises. The Guru Prasad was served to all those present – including children – who had been attending Children Sunday Satsanga in the basement Dhyan Mandir.
The afternoon was dedicated to a special Shradhanjali Narayan Seva service arranged outside the main gate of the Ashram. Announcements were made by our devotees in the morning so that more and more public could know about this arrangement. A large number of volunteers participated in the food distribution programme to the general public. Twelve hundred persons were served Prasad during this Shradhanjali Narayan Seva.
Video of Memorial Function
In the afternoon, a screening of the video of Sri Mrinalini Mataji’s Memorial Function held earlier during the annual Convocation at Los Angeles (on August 11, 2017) was held in the Pandal, which was attended by nearly a hundred devotees who stayed back after the main morning programme.
Memorial Service at YSS Gurgaon Kendra
In YSS Gurgaon Kendra, the sacred ceremony of Mataji’s memorial service was conducted by Brahamachari Dhairyanandaji on Sunday, August 20, 2017. The service comprised of chanting, meditation and remembering Sri Mrinalini Mataji for her unconditional contribution to furthering Guruji's work. Sharing excerpts from an earlier talk by Swami Ishwaranandaji where he spoke at the Ma’s memorial service at the SRF convocation in Los Angeles.
Brahmachariji shared that YSS activities in India held a very special place in Mataji’s heart. He spoke from the Bhagavad Gita on how the immortal soul lives forever and only sheds its mortal clothing, and emphasized that Ma is in the divine light of God and Gurus.
Her contributions towards making Guruji’s teachings available for generations of devotees were spoken about with utmost gratitude.
YSS Gurgaon Kendra devotees also shared their experiences of meeting Ma and being in her divine and joyous presence. The service was followed by bhajans and pushpanjali.
Memorial Service at YSS Delhi Kendra
Swami Lalitanandaji conducted the memorial service at YSS Delhi Kendra on Sunday, August 20, 2017.
As devotees gathered to pay their homage to Sri Sri Mrinalini Mataji, Samiji led them through the ceremony that comprised of prayers and chanting followed by a brief meditation.
Having had the privilege to have a close interaction with Ma during his initiation as a Swami in 2006 in SRF , Swami Lalitanandaji shared his awe-inspiring experience of meeting her. He elaborated on Ma’s life and services to SRF and YSS.
Describing his personal meeting with Mrinalini Mataji at Los Angeles, Swamiji affirmed that she made everybody who came into contact with her comfortable: “She was indeed a spiritual mother personified.”
Senior YSS devotees present at the ceremony, Ms. Radhika Swamy and Ms. Madhu Chona also shared their experiences when they met Ma in the US. Describing these interactions as soul-stirring, they described Ma’s love for India and devotees in our country as overwhelming. They shared that Ma always shied away from any kind of publicity of her own image, as she ardently and silently continued to accomplish the work bestowed upon her by Gurudeva Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda.
Following this, as per tradition, Swami Lalitanandaji offered white roses symbolising purity and red roses symbolizing the love of devotees for her in front of her picture at the altar.
Devotees then offered pushpanjali and special prasad was distributed.